First Lincoln Soft Matter Seminar

Lincoln Materials Science Platform

School of Mathematics and Physics


Professor Alexander Böker


Wednesday 22 October 2014

JBL3C01- 2pm


Ultra-thin Self-Assembled Protein-Polymer Membranes: A New Pore Forming Strategy


Patrick van Rijn, Murat Tutus, Christine Kathrein, Nathalie C. Mougin, Hyunji Park, Christopher Hein, Marco P. Schürings, and Alexander Böker*


DWI – Leibniz-Institut für Interaktive Materialien, Lehrstuhl für Makromolekulare Materialien und Oberflächen, RWTH Aachen University, Germany



bokerSelf-assembled membranes offer a promising alternative for conventional membrane fabrication, especially in the field of nano-filtration. However, recent advances pushing the developments in self-assembled membranes towards thinner membranes with more selectivity are still limited with respect to active permeation area, stability and responsiveness. Here we introduce a new pore-making strategy which involves stimuli responsive protein-polymer conjugates self-assembled across a large area of 5 cm2 using drying-mediated interfacial self-assembly. Proteins are used as a sacrificial template which – upon denaturing – provide hydrophilic pores of identical size. The permeation is controlled by temperature switching below and above the lower critical solution temperature of the polymer. The membrane is flexible and easily assembled on porous supports. A high mass transport was measured and a size-selectivity of particles below 20 nm was determined, which is in very good agreement with the size of protein used. This approach diversifies membrane technology since various sizes and shapes of proteins can be used, in addition to different responsive polymers generating a platform for “smart” self-assembled membranes.



[1] N.C. Mougin, P. van Rijn, H. Park, A.H.E. Müller, A. Böker Adv. Funct. Mater. 2011, 21, 2470.
[2] P. van Rijn, N.C. Mougin, D. Franke, H. Park, A. Böker Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 8376.
[3] P. van Rijn, N.C. Mougin, A. Böker  Polymer, 2012, 53, 6045.
[4] P. van Rijn, H. Park, K. Özlem Nazli, N.C. Mougin, A. Böker  Langmuir, 2013, 29, 276.
[5] P. van Rijn, M. Tutus, C. Kathrein, N.C. Mougin, H. Park, C. Hein, M.P. Schürings, A. Böker  Adv. Funct. Mater. 2014, doi: 10.1002/adfm.201401825.

boker1 boker2

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